Saturday, March 7, 2009

Like Sports Betting...But Legal

Despite being a multi-billion dollar industry, online sports betting in the United States currently has an ambiguous legal status. Additionally, even if you overlook its unclear legality, it can be difficult getting money into (and out of) online sportsbooks. That’s a real shame, because having a piece of the action on a game you’re watching can really enhance the enjoyment of sporting events.

Luckily there’s a new alternative, which has all of the advantages of sports betting, without any of the drawbacks. Daily fantasy sports contests like Draftbug allow players to pick a team of players, and win (or lose) cash based on the statistical performance of those players that day. Fantasy sports are completely legal, deposits can be made by credit card, and payment or withdrawals by check. Unlike traditional fantasy sports, Draftbug doesn’t require a season long commitment. Picking a team takes about five minutes, and results are calculated the same day.

Draftbug is currently offering daily basketball and hockey contests. Baseball will be available on opening day (April 5th). Registration is free, and a promotion providing 4,000 player points (which allows entry in $4 of real money contests) has been extended until the end of March. If you sign up now, I'll also provide daily player ratings for the first month of the season. I used the same ratings (modified for the game format's scoring differences) win Rotohog's 2008 fantasy baseball contest against more than 40,000 other people.

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